The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
End of the Line?
The battle lines are drawn up for and against closing a historic railway line, with the latter proving the more determined and persuasive.
From the collection of:
This is an intriguing film made at the height of the battle to save the Settle-Carlisle Line after British Rail declared their intention to close it. On the one side stands the campaign to save it, led by The Friends of the Settle to Carlisle Line, on the other, putting the case for its closure, is Ron Cotton, appointed by British Rail to oversee its closure. Part of the interest of the film is what subsequently transpired as Cotton ended up playing a large part in helping to save it.
A Yorkshire Television documentary that may well have had a hand in saving one of Britain’s finest train journeys. An irony is that Bill Cotton was also charged with maximising revenue while the line was open, and so he introduced special cheap fares, then Round Robin tickets and then more train services, leading to a jump from 93,000 journeys in 1983 to 450,000 by 1989 when Thatcher loyalist Michael Portillo, then Minister of State for Transport, saved it, albeit on mainly economic grounds. A poignant aspect of the film is the sight of campaigner Graham Nuttall with his border collie Ruswarp, which famously stayed with his owner’s body for 11 winter weeks when Graham died by a remote Welsh river in 1990.